Rachel Lewis Hilburn

News Director, All Things Considered Host, CoastLine Host & Producer

Rachel Lewis Hilburn came to WHQR in the spring of 2011.  She was named News Director in July of 2012. 

She moved to Wilmington from Los Angeles, where she worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.  After joining the local ABC affiliate in Wilmington, she wrote and produced local TV newscasts, a 30-minute special program for the Cape Fear Museum showcasing its renovation and new exhibits, and independently wrote and produced a documentary on the lingering effects of the 1898 coup d'etat in Wilmington.   Before joining the staff, Rachel co-produced Stories, Wine, and Cheese - a series of local, live storytelling events which aired on WHQR.  

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alancutlerforsheriff.com

The race for Pender County Sheriff was, by far, one of the more crowded primary races with seven Republican candidates. Alan Cutler took the top spot – with 50% of the vote.  Randy Burton came in a distant second – with 17.6%.  Cutler now faces Democratic challenger Lawrence Fennell.

RLH

Today is Primary Election Day.  By early afternoon, precinct officials in two separate counties reported disappointing trickles of people.

RLH

Tuesday, May 8th is Election Day -- when voters choose which candidates from each party make it to the November ballot.  Early voting totals are low, but that is common in mid-term elections, say elections officals.    It's too early to tell where this primary's voter turnout numbers will shake out in comparison to the last two mid-terms:  2010 and 2014. 

Brunswick County Republican Party

Jerry Benton is seeking a seat on the Brunswick County Board of Education.  It’s his second run at elected office; two years ago, he challenged then-Representative Susi Hamilton for her state House seat.  However, this disabled veteran says the galvanizing issue for him remains the same:  education.

http://www.Pexels.com / Wikimedia Commons

It was 2013 that Dr. William Johnstone came to work as a Professor in the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. It didn’t take long for him to see the devastating consequences from the opioid epidemic firsthand – although back then, the community was not yet talking about it. 

One hospital administrator tells WHQR the numbers of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome went from about 35 in 2010 to between 120 to 140 by 2016.  Officials expect those numbers to continue rising.

Richard Scearce / NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Alligator hunting in North Carolina is now legal in North Carolina after a 44-year ban.  Last October, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission updated its Alligator Management Plan and defined a potential hunting season:  from September 1 to October 1. 

ncleg.net

Ted Davis, Junior has served as the Representative for North Carolina House District 19 since 2012 – when he was appointed to fill out the term of Danny McComas.  After that, voters reelected him three more times, and now this Republican from New Hanover County says he's hoping to win his primary challenge and serve a fourth term.

North Carolina Representative Frank Iler was appointed to his House seat in 2009.  He won reelection four more times and is seeking his fifth term. 

The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County recently approved a financial incentive package worth $580,000 for National Gypsum.

The Cape Fear region is competing with Tampa for the company’s business. 

Jamie Rotenberg / HTTPS://JAMIERBIRDS7.WIXSITE.COM/EVSJR

It was an expedition into the Mayan Mountains in 2005 which led Jamie Rotenberg to the Bladen Nature Reserve in Belize where he spotted a juvenile harpy eagle.  More than five years later, he discovered a harpy eagle nest – creatures once thought to be extinct. 

jbauerfornchouseseat20.com

John Bauer is one of three Democrats hoping to square off in November with North Carolina Representative Holly Grange, a Republican from New Hanover County.  One idea Bauer is pushing is the creation of a public bank.

 

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has now lifted the "do not drink" alert for the entire northern groundwater system served by the Richardson Nanofiltration Groundwater Plant. However, as a caution, CFPUA says sections of the affected service area are now under a precautionary boil water advisory.

Julia Olson-Boseman

Julia Olson-Boseman served as a New Hanover County Commissioner from 2000 until 2004 -- then won three terms as a North Carolina State Senator.  As she tells WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn, she’s proud of her work on film incentives for the state and bringing Verizon Wireless to Wilmington.  

The Center for Nanoscale Materials at the Advanced Photon Source. Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory / Matt Howard

North Carolina added more than 10,000 jobs in the tech sector last year alone.  That makes it seventh in the nation for job growth, according to a study by Computing Technology Industry Association, a nonprofit advocacy group.

German Federal Archive / Wikimedia Commons

Imagine growing up in a world during a time in which it’s prudent to hide the fact that you’re Jewish because you might be barred from common public spaces or forced to attend schools that keep you apart from non-Jewish Germans. 

cjs.nhcgov.com / New Hanover County Community Justice Services

When kids get into trouble, when they fail in school, and turn to destructive paths seeking power, money, and a sense of belonging, it’s easy to dismiss the child as a “bad kid”, write him off, cope with his presence in school, keep him out of the way of the students who are succeeding, wait it out until he’s no longer there.

If Ed Higgins wins a seventh term on New Hanover County’s Board of Education, he will have served nearly three decades.  Bruce Shell, also an incumbent, is seeking his second term.  In a Republican primary field of seven candidates, both men are competing for one of the four open seats.

 April 4th, 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.  The news of King's murder reverberated around the world, but the loss for students, parents, and staff at Williston Senior High School in Wilmington was particularly wrenching.  Dr.

Bill Rivenbark for Board of Education

  

North Carolina’s primary election takes place on May 8th – when voters decide on their November candidates for school boards, county commissions, sheriffs, congressional representatives, and the state legislature.  Bill Rivenbark, who currently works at a New Hanover County ABC store, is running for a seat on New Hanover County’s Board of Education. 

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Elliott Sprehe

The debate on firearms continues at the local, state, and national levels. As informed citizens, we look for debates based on logic and reason; but with more polarizing issues, it’s worth taking a look at the personal experiences that influence perceptions and resulting policy positions.   

NC Courts

Research shows that minority students are more likely to face disciplinary action in school than white students.  When students face more detentions, suspensions, and expulsions from school than their white counterparts, we also see more children of color in juvenile and criminal courts.  That phenomenon is often called the school-to-prison pipeline. 

A letter full of racist invectives addressed to the Minister / Head Pastor arrived at Speaks Temple AME Zion Church late last month.  Postmarked February 14th from Charlotte, North Carolina, the same day as the Parkland, Florida school shooting and Valentine’s Day, no one seems to know who wrote the letter or why they sent it to a small church in Wilmington. 

CFCI

There are now 173 charter schools in North Carolina.  After the General Assembly lifted the cap of 100 in 2010, the number of public charter schools soared.  In the past four years, four new charter schools opened in Wilmington alone putting the total at six.  If approved, a seventh, the Wilmington School of the Arts, will open in the fall of 2019.

Mitch Barrie from Reno, NV, USA / Wikimedia Commons

A 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people with an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida about three weeks ago. 

Max Pixel

The kind of energy that human beings use to power their lives is shifting around the globe.  Renewable sources of energy are on the rise; the International Energy Agency expects renewable electricity generation to increase by more than a third over the next four years.  That’s according to CNBC. 

In the last 12 years, Charlotte-based Duke Energy has invested about six billion dollars in wind and solar energy, said company spokesman Randy Wheeless.  He identified North Carolina as second in the nation for solar energy. 

Samuel King, Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Active shooter situations are, by nature, unpredictable and evolve quickly. That’s the first observation officials with The Department of Homeland Security make before offering what tools and resources they have.  In many cases, DHS officials say, there is no pattern or method to the selection of victims by an active shooter.

So much of Michelle Rhinesmith’s journey so far was not part of the official plan.  From capturing the attention and becoming the mentee of a well-respected NPR veteran to counseling people diagnosed with potentially terminal cancer to grappling with her own bouts – yes, that’s plural – bouts with cancer – to losing her mother in December, her beloved dog, Chloe on February 15th and her grandmother the very next day, the ride has been anything but predictable and smooth. 

The Carousel Center

North Carolina’s latest child health report card, just out this week, gives the state an ‘F’ in “Housing and Economic Security” due to the high percentage of children living in low-income homes and neighborhoods. Children from families that are not financially secure, according to NC Child, fare worse in almost every indicator of health, including birth outcomes, access to care, health-risk behaviors, and mortality.

John N. Smith Cemetery Restoration and Preservation, Inc.

Archaeologists have determined that 900 graves lie unmarked at the John N. Smith Cemetery in Southport.  This African American Cemetery, located on Leonard Street in the heart of Southport, has stories both known and many that are yet to be uncovered.  The oldest headstone, with a date of death in 1874, belongs to John N. Smith himself.  

Pixabay

The prospect of drilling off the coast of North Carolina for oil and natural gas is a real one.  Last month, President Donald Trump proposed the opening of nearly all American waters to offshore drilling. This new five-year plan is scheduled to start in 2019.

So far North Carolina’s elected officials are split on whether to support drilling off the coast.

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